Hamblen J. has handed down judgment upholding claims brought by Deutstche Bank (Suisse) SA (“the Bank”) to recover £54.5 million (plus interest) secured over super-prime properties in London.

The Bank granted a £66m credit facility in August 2007 to a family of prominent Pakistani politicians (including Senators Gulzar Khan, Waqar Khan and Ammar Khan) and seven corporate SPVs. The lending was secured over a portfolio of properties in Knightsbridge and Bishops Avenue (colloquially known as “Billionaire’s Row”).

The Bank commenced proceedings in 2011 to recover the entire debt, amounting to £54.5 million.  For their part, the Borrowers advanced a myriad of defences and counterclaims and, as the learned judge remarked, “fought those claims tooth and nail”.

Following a 3 week trial Hamblen J. gave judgment for the Bank, rejecting the Defendants’ allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, mistake, breach of confidence and breach of contract (the latter being advanced on the basis that the Bank had not been entitled to exercise a retention under the facility), and rejecting challenges to both the terms and the conduct of the Bank’s lending which were advanced under ss.140A-D Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the unfair relationships regime), the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

Raymond Cox QC and James McClelland appeared for the Bank together with Michael Pryor. They were instructed by Ed Crosse of Simmons & Simmons LLP.

A copy of the judgment may be found here